Who Needs Social Networks? I’ve Got Opera Unite
Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 16 June 2009
Opera, the browser vendor, have released a new version of their browser, Opera Unite. And they launched their browser will the slogan “Today, we reinvent the Web“. So what’s behind this rather grandiose claim?
Opera Unite allows you to easily share your data: photos, music, notes and other files. You can even run chat rooms and host entire Web sites with Opera Unite. It puts the power of a Web server in your browser, giving you greater privacy and flexibility than other online services.
What if you use Opera at home, and a different Web browser at work? Opera Unite services can be accessed from any modern browser, including mobile browsers! At home, just select what you want to share, and you can view it later using your work Web browser without any problems.
A post on Mashable.com sums this up nicely “Opera Unite: Web Browser Becomes the Web Server“. But do we need another Web server environment? Do we need the ability of every networked PC to be able to share files? What are the networking implications? What are the security implications? How will we find the stuff?
I suspect this may the the reaction of members of institutional Web teams. But, on the other hand, mightn’t this free us from a reliance of the commercial sector and the concerns we have over companies such as Facebook? And might not the innovative e-learning developers welcome the opportunity to explore how the sharing of learning resources and the use of collaborative technologies can be provided without having to rely on the local Web services team whilst avoiding the need to deal with companies such as Google and Facebook. Opera, it might appear, are unlikely to have a desire to take over the networked world as Google, Facebook and Microsoft want to do.
Have Opera really reinvented the Web? And is this announcement good news or bad? Or perhaps it is irrelevant – this is file sharing for home users and need not concern those of us who work in a networked environment?